Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been warned that their GOAT status is under threat from Carlos Alcaraz. Renowned tennis coach Rick Macci, who spotted the likes of Serena and Venus Williams when they were teenagers and saw them transform into Grand Slam champions, claimed the 19-year-old was the best player he had seen in 40 years.
Alcaraz managed to defeat Nadal for the first time in his career on Friday to advance to the semi-finals of the Madrid Open exactly one year and one day after their first meeting when he was the 120th-ranked wildcard making his Masters debut and won just three games against Nadal on what was his 18th birthday. 366 days later, as the world No 9 and a Masters champion already in Miami, he defeated his idol in a victory that caught the attention of Rick Macci.
The legendary coach discovered and coached five future world No 1s in the Williams sisters, Jennifer Capriati, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova and was even a key character in the Oscar-award winning movie King Richard. And he has now claimed that Alcaraz will exceed the Big Three of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal as the best talent he had seen in decades.
“I have seen Federer, Nadal and Djokovic when they were little, but in the last 30 years I have not seen anyone like Carlos Alcaraz,” the seven-time United States Professional Tennis Association coach of the year said. “I can see this boy becoming the greatest player of all time.”